While driving around the Seattle area, Nikki and I stopped by the Bothell downtown, since our friends told us that it was cute. We walked around for a while, stopped by a few shops, and then noticed that one of the bars on Main street had Mac and Cheese listed on the menu posted in their window. So we decided to try it out.
The setting was charming and fun. It felt like a mesh of an old-timey bar (lots of wood panelling and furniture) mixed with some extra modern features, like a sofa area, and a chalkboard menu with an impressive line-up of craft brews. I wasn't really in a beer-at-1-pm kind-of mood, so I ordered their craft ROOT beer, as well as their Mac and Cheese, with added bacon. Hard to go wrong with added bacon. :)
This turned out to be another Mac dish without macaroni noodles. The Bine opted to use shells instead, which is fine, but I still felt like mentioning it. The dish itself, however, was pretty dang good. The pasta was cooked well, and held up in the sauce. There were a few breadcrumbs on top, and they imparted a little bit of a crunch, but all-in-all, they weren't too much to write home about. The sauce was a "Mornay" (a cheesy béchamel), containing white cheddar, gruyère and parmesan cheeses. With such a bold cheese lineup, I kind of wish the cheeses were a little more prominent. However, what really made the dish was the added bacon. The Bine used a good, substantive, salty, thick-cut bacon, and it rounded out the sauce beautifully. Without the bacon, I would probably have rated this a 3/5. But the salt in the bacon amped up the sauce, and turned the dish into a really solid 4.
Overall, a good Mac. Definitely get it with bacon. :)